Environmental Research Group
Who's Who in ERG? - Dr Heather Walton
Dr Heather Walton
Senior Research Fellow
Environmental Research Group
King's College London
150 Stamford Street
Tel: 020 7848 3844
Fax: 020 7848 4045
I have a strong interest in the application of science to the optimisation of policy on
air pollution and health. A biochemist by training, I have subsequently trained in
toxicology and am a member of the UK Register of Toxicologists.
I worked as a scientific civil servant for many years at the Department of Health and then the Health Protection Agency, writing review papers and reports for Expert Committees such as the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) and the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP); developing calls for research proposals for the Department of Health Air Pollution and Health Research
Programme and providing scientific advice on air pollution and health to Defra.
The latter included quantification of the benefits to health of reductions in air pollution for the
Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits' economic analysis of the air quality strategy.
My interest in epidemiology has developed as a result of these various areas of work.
International work has included acting as a temporary special adviser to World Health
Organisation meetings on air pollution and health, several presentations in
Brussels and presentations to members of the US Health Effects Institute.
Particular interests at King's include the health effects of ozone and whether there is a threshold,
distinguishing the effects of nitrogen dioxide from those of particles, health impact assessment,
systematic reviews of the evidence on air pollution and health and the use of lifetables to assess
the effects of long-term exposure to particles. I am a member of the quantification sub-group of the
Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants and of a drafting group for a forthcoming report on the mortality
effects of long-term exposure to particulate air pollution on health in the United Kingdom.
Walton H A ‘Why should exposure assessment play a role in urban air quality management?
Reflections from a health perspective.’ In ‘Role of Human Exposure Assessment in Air Quality Management’
WHO Workshop Bonn Germany 14-15 October 2002
Stedman J, King K, Holland M and Walton H A (2002) ‘Quantification of the health effects of air pollution in
the UK for revised PM10 objective analysis – A report produced for the Department for Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs, Welsh Assembly Government,
The Scottish Executive and the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland AEAT/ENV/R/1162 Issue 1
Ozone section of ‘Health Aspects of Air Pollution – answers to follow-up questions from CAFÉ Report of A
WHO Working Group, Bonn, January 2004
Johnson H, Kovats R S, McGregor G, Stedman J, Gibbs M, Walton H, Cook L, Black E (Spring 2005)
‘The impact of the 2003 heat wave on mortality and hospital admissions in England’ Health Statistics
Quarterly 25: 6-11.
Johnson H, Kovats R S, McGregor G, Stedman J, Gibbs M and Walton H(2005)
‘The impact of the 2003 heat wave on daily mortality in England and Wales and the use of rapid weekly mortality estimates’
Eurosurveillance 10 (7-8):
Walton H(2006) ‘The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland:
New Approach to the Regulation of Fine Particles’ Chemical Hazards and Poisons Report November 2006 Issue 8: 38-40.
Health benefits section of Chapters 2, 4 and 5 in Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales and the Department of the Environment for
Northern Ireland ‘An Economic Analysis to Inform the Air Quality Strategy Review Consultation –
Updated Third Report of the
Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits’ July 2007 Also available at
now accessed via
select Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits.
Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants ‘The Effects on Health of Long-Term Exposure to Ozone –
Chapter from the forthcoming report ‘Ozone in the UK: Health Implications’ Draft for Technical Comment 2007.
Maynard R, Walton H, Pollitt F and Fielder R (2010)
'The Impact on Health of Emissions to Air from Municipal Waste Incinerators –
Advice from the Health Protection Agency' Documents of the Health Protection Agency,
Radiation, Chemicals and the Environment (RCE) series number 13. ISBN 978-0-85951-661
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